Billed by Nike co-founder Phil Knight as a "nine-year sensation," Mark Parker is having something of a moment. The Swoosh is at the top of the heap, and its CEO was just named Fortune's 2015 Businessperson of the Year. In a recent piece, Business Insider isolated a key characteristic of Parker's management style, one that aligns with Nike's emphasis on innovation:
Research suggests that Parker's hit on a winning management tactic: Leaders who ask questions and encourage their team to find the answers tend to be more effective than those who try to know and do it all themselves. Writing in The Harvard Business Review, Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown identify two types of leaders: "diminishers" and "multipliers." Diminishers tend to minimize intelligence among their team because they assume their employees' abilities are fixed; multipliers believe abilities can be cultivated. Wiseman and McKeown found that multipliers tend to lead teams that are up to twice as productive as those led by diminishers. One key characteristic of multipliers is asking hard questions and prompting people to go find the answers. Coming up with solutions boosts employees' self-efficacy and confidence that they can help solve organizational problems.
A former designer himself, it makes sense that Parker's leadership strategy is defined by empowerment. By constantly asking questions of his employees, he makes sure they never get complacent. Check out the full article here.